Trade and travel stimulated the demand for instruments that carried useful information for religious practice such as the ‘qibla’, the compass direction of prayer towards Mecca at any particular place. This astrolabe from North Africa carries geographical tables which display the qibla for various towns. The same tables appear on special-purpose qibla indicators, which include a compass for orientation.
Inventory no. 51459
Astrolabe, by Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Battuti, North African, 1733/4
Page last modified: 05 February 2013